Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tiny Rapunzel on Halloween

Charlotte loves Rapunzel, the one in Tangled. Loves. LOVES. So naturally that meant she was going to be Rapunzel for Halloween. I only had a chance to start three days before Halloween. My brother asked me a couple weeks before if I could make him a Joker (Heath Ledger) costume, and being my brother, of course I said yes. Since his needed to be shipped, his costume came first. Then I spent three days on hers.

Look at how big she's getting!! She cut her back set of molars, and as hard as I watched to get the dates, they came in and I missed them. We've had a couple minor emergencies in the last few weeks. At the hotel, she stuck her hand in the hinge-side of a door when it was closing too quickly for me to react, and her finger broke. The knuckle was smashed down to about 1/8" thin, no joke She was i pain and I was screaming at the 911 operator to get an ambulance there that second. I didn't know where the ER was and was too shaken up to drive safely even if I knew. And then I found out my iron, a pricy one, is faulty. It's supposed to turn off after eight minutes of non-use. The light blinks when it's off and is steady when on. I set it aside, it turned off (or so I thought), and I made a cake. Then Charlotte knocked it over onto her hand and pulled her hand away but didn't cry. So I didn't think anything of it, until the burns became visible a few hours later. Nerve damage, second degree burns, and now I'm getting into it with Rowenta. The safety feature of the iron failed. It didn't turn off. This iron isn't years old, and now my child has burns, pain, possible long-term nerve-damage and scarring, and we've got medical bills. If I wanted an iron that didn't turn off, I'd have bought on that didn't. Instead I paid thee figures for an iron that's supposed to turn off because I've got a child. So I'm pissed.

In non-injury news, she can count to three! It comes out, "Un, oo, we!" and she couches down slightly with each count, then runs screaming and squealing. Her daddy will count to three before tossing her in the air, and she's learned to count because of that! She's smart. Aside from just that, it's creepy what she can do, not only her insane balance, like being able to stick a leg behind her, bend her standing knee so she's close to the ground, and stand back without help, and she can stand on her rocking horse and keep her balance, but she's a problem-solver. If she want something, she can find a way to get or do it. Child-proofing doesn't work. She can open most bottles. She can get as high up as she wants. She can buckle and unbuckle her own seat belt (the first time this happened, I looked in my side mirror and thought I was seeing things when I saw her head out the window, and then she climbed over the console and tried getting into my lap - while I was on a stretch of freeway three miles from the next exit and on a stretch with such narrow holders that it was safer to NOT stop and open the door. She's also working on dressing herself and can do her own shoes.

She's 23 months old now, 23 months and 2 days to be exact, and 27 pounds, 35" tall (that's a good bit above average), has to have size 3T clothes because everything else is way too short, but everything is too loose. She's slender but healthy, and most clothes are made to the average that accounts for toddlers being chunkier for their height than a generation ago. Since children are about half their adult height by the the they're two years old, she's probably going to be very tall. I'm 67", and she's more than half my height, and as it is, I'm taller than average. She also wears a size 8 or 9 in shoes. She has some in both sizes. I repeat, she's not yet two full years old, and a size 7 is absolutely too small. Poor child, she's going to have my whoppers the Wiley feet as we say. Cody's mom wears an adult side 5. I wear a 10.

Anyway, costume! I've got this posted to Facebook here.

This is a semi-deluxe version of the gown, minus the embroidery. I'll do that by hand later.

This dress is three pieces (in the film, the gown would have been four pieces, a camisole that buttons up the back, the outer bodice that laces up the front, a lace-trimmed slip, and the skirt). I combined the camisole and bodice and made back-lacing with longer sleeves and skirt so that this dress can grow with her.

The neckline, arms, waist, and solid fabric of the skirt, have pink satin cord. The wrists, neckline, and skirt hem have white lace, and the waist has pink lace. I couldn't find suitable pink lace, so dyed some of the white. The upper sleeves have six yards of ribbon between them. That took a surprisingly long time to do.

The bodice and front skirt panel are a rose brocade, and the bodice inset, upper sleeves (under the ribbon), modesty panel, and rest of the skirt are matching solid bridal satins. The lower sleeves are doubled tulle. The bodice is entirely lined in light purple cotton except for the lower sleeves.

As I said, this dress was made to grow with her. So the back laces over a modesty panel (so no skin will show) that matches the front inset. The skirt has a waistband that, at its smallest, if her current waist measurement. I inserted a godet where a zipper would usually go, and extended one side of the waist band a few inches. On the extended tab, I placed a few buttons so that it can be buttoned on the one most comfortable. The skirt and bodice have hooks and eyes to keep the bodice and skirt from separating when a little one decides to jump around and roll on the ground!

I went to Goodwill hoping to find a small skillet of any sort, and was thrilled to find a perfectly-sized cast iron skillet. If you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about, watch the film. :)

This picture shows the colors guest to life, a least on my screen.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let's see if this can be shorter than a novel

I guess first thing first. We got an RV, a 34-foot Fleetwood Bounder and live in that. There's air conditioning, heating (of course), and it's surprisingly comfortable to ride in. I really like it. We will be pulling up the carpet and putting down laminate though very soon and we already got some of it. Easier to keep clean, I get squeamish thinking about what gets under carpet, plus multiple animal butts smooching on so little carpet is just ew. Thankfully the dogs prefer to lay in the kitchen on the linoleum. My dad always told us that by me and my brother helping renovate our house when we were 11 and 9 or so that we'd learn skills we'd use in life, ad sure enough, I've used those skills a lot. We'll also eventually paint the walls and take the curtains down and stain them. They're good heavy curtains that do a nice job keeping it from getting very drafty and keeping heat in, so I don't want to replace them. Maybe I'll just take spray paint to them. They look so 70's, and this rig is nowhere near that old.

We've been in this RV two weeks as of today, and in that time I made my brother a Joker costume (Heath Ledger version), Charlotte a Rapunzel costume (next post for pics), am nearly finished with a Lord of the Rings wedding gown, and helped with an invention that requires fabric, but to to NDA, I'm obviously not going to disclose (even Cody doesn't know).

So here's a tour of our new rig:

In the above photo, each of the compartments under the RV are storage units. There is a door going to the living room and there's one going right into the bedroom. Above all windows are awnings, and in the "passenger side" is a larger awning that makes a patio-like area. The steps can be set to stay down or to move up. When we're coming and going we leave the steps down.

On the "driver side" most of the compartments house utilities and the generator. A couple are storage, but this is the hook-ups side. It's got a really nice Onan generator.

From the back, here is the bedroom. Queen size bed, and yes, Charlotte still sleeps with us. We'll be working on getting her to sleep on the couch that turns into a bed, but slowly. She's already been through so much this year.

There is a lot of storage under the bed.

From the bedroom, you can see the rest. My hand is on the door to the bathroom. You can see one of the TVs at the front. The other is in the bedroom. We have a 47" HD LCD flat-panel TV in storage in California, and are using two small tube TVs now. :)

Bathroom? Yes, we have one, and even have a small tub! The water heater isn't very large though, so showers are quick. Across from the bathroom is a closet. I didn't get pics of that. We do need a shower curtain still (how sad that we keep forgetting to get one), and of course the one towel we have that's ratty is one that's hung up. Most of our towels are really nice and fluffy thanks to me being a towel snob once upon a time.

Next up, jus past the bathroom on the same side is the dining table. This picture was taken just past the table with the camera angled toward the back. The table drops down and becomes a bed. The seat back cushions cover the table in the center. I don't anticipate ever needing to use this as a bed. Under the seats is more storage.

On the same side as the table toward the front is the couch. This folds out into a full-size bed that is incredibly comfortable. You can also see the curtains that cover the front windows. There is more storage under the couch.

Here is my sewing area. The almost-finished coat was sewn start to finish in this RV. I have the small quilt on the seat of the chair because here are two small nickel-sized holes that Charlotte would probably try to play with. There are cabinets overheard all around the RV like you can see in this picture. They're solid oak, which is very nice.

And here is the sink and range. In this first one, you can see the stove with the cover down. In the second, with the cover up, you can see the fridge and freezer. It's wood-veneered and is of the right of the range.

It's not much, not a huge place, but it's adequate, comfortable, and ours. If we're not at an RV park, we can take this thing anywhere and not need to worry about electricity or anything. The plan right now is to stay at different parks by the week to see where we like, then to decide where to stay for a while, see how much we can save up over the next year or two, buy some land, run utilities to it, park there, get foundation laid, and start building a house. I've helped build a house before, and Cody's dad is a general contractor and Cody's helped out there. Building my own house with my own hands has been a dream of mine since I was a teenager. Of course it's unlikely to go that easily, but it's a goal at least.